Pagliuca has vocalized the value of the third-party ad server in the past. Google and Facebook both sell media and operate their own ad servers, and each has the ability to forego cookies and deterministically match devices to people based on logged-in user IDs.
Although it’s early days for Facebook’s ad server, there are some improvements partners would like to see.
“There’s mobile tracking right now, not mobile ad serving,” Pagliuca said, adding that universal tagging functionality and search/display integrations were new features. “They’re playing catch-up in some areas, but I think it was the right call to completely throw away the old Atlas and focus on rebuilding it around Facebook identity data.”
For Mediaocean, plugging into Atlas is about preparing the ground for future agency adoption of a promising product – not serving current demand. ("Their market share is pretty low," CEO Bill Wise said.)
"When we first met with the Facebook people around Atlas, we realized that they had built some additional functionality that would require a custom integration that wasn't necessarily the standard ad-serving API," Wise said. "Facebook has built some cool features around people-based marketing, people-based reporting and cross-device functionality. A lot of those things weren't part of the standard Prisma working set."
Erik Johnson, head of Atlas at Facebook, says the company is selling into both agencies and advertisers – and that the sales cycle varies dramatically in length depending on the client.
"Inbound volume shows support and interest in the platform," Johnson told AdExchanger. "We're training the market on what people-based marketing is."